Mindfulness Classes Transform the Experiences of Postpartum Women
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The postpartum period can be challenging for many women as they adjust to physical and social changes. Breastfeeding may be more difficult than expected. Additionally, many women may feel that their postpartum body fails to meet an idealized image, leading to body dissatisfaction. Mindfulness-based interventions have been developed for stress reduction in a variety of health contexts, including pregnancy. The purpose of this study is to explore whether participants in a mindfulness based childbirth and parenting class (MBCP) during pregnancy found mindfulness skills beneficial to their breastfeeding experiences and postpartum body image. Women who participated in a ten week MBCP course during pregnancy were interviewed within the first year postpartum to discuss their experiences. The semi-structured interview guide included questions on how participants may have used mindfulness to approach a variety of positive and negative experiences. Findings have implications for future research on the postpartum experience and intervention design.